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Friday, September 4, 2015

Politico finds that Gov. Rick Scott's office scrubbed Planned Parenthood press releases of pertinent information

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 11:45 AM


This will be absolutely shocking to absolutely nobody, but Politico has learned via a public records request that Gov. Rick Scott's office scrubbed pertinent information from a press release about the state Agency for Healthcare Administration's investigation into the healthcare organization. 

AHCA initially wrote in its press release detailing what it found during its investigations of 16 Planned Parenthood clinics across the state that regulators discovered three clinics allegedly performing abortions past the legally allowed second trimester (a point hotly contested by Planned Parenthood, which says that AHCA intentionally attempted to reinterpret the rules on when the second trimester ends) and that one of the clinics didn't follow guidelines for disposal of tissue. The original release, Politico found, also contained a line that declared that none of the clinics were guilty of "mishandling of fetal remains," which has been what this Planned Parenthood witch hunt has been about from the beginning.

When the draft press release was sent to Scott's office, it was conveniently rewritten to remove that bit of important information. From Politico's story:

Scott's office revised the release to exclude that sentence, an email sent by Scott’s communications director, Jackie Schutz, shows. Additionally, the revised release noted the AHCA would refer physicians who worked at the clinics to the Board of Medicine for possible disciplinary action.

When the revised release was sent back to the AHCA for review, Katherine Riviere, the communications director, sent an email to senior staff, including Secretary Liz Dudek, that said, "I would have thought a line on no evidence of mishandling of fetal remains would be included as that’s what questions will be on."

Dudek, in response to Riviere’s email, said she "agreed with the comment.”
Political opportunism at its finest. 

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